HR Technology Q & A with Gerry Crispin

The 2016 HR Technology Conference is October 4-7. Over the next week The SHRM Blog will feature a Q & A series with several HR technology experts who will offer their perspective on how technology is impacting the HR profession today -- and their predictions for the future.

The following is a Q & A with international speaker, author and acknowledged thought leader Gerry Crispin:



Q. Which new type of HR technology is most revolutionizing the HR profession? 
The use of ‘cognitive’/AI/Machine learning applications is still a nascent technology as applied to HR but 2017 will likely be touted as the year of the ‘Bot. 
Q.  What is the single most important piece of technology an HR pro can have in 2016? 
The phone…a smartphone…a current smartphone. It is a compelling business and professional necessity. Just as a computer is given or supported as a work tool, current mobile devices are a must have.
Q.  What are the advantages of combining both HR professionals and technology process experts to design software that will address HR’s future challenges?
That is funny. Just try and imagine what it would looks like if they weren’t combined…oh wait…
Q. Why is it important that HR include their technology department leaders at the beginning of the software selection process and not after the contract has been signed?  
Just asking this question evokes the answer.
Q.  What do you want HR professionals to understand about the process of selecting HR software?  What are the key considerations? 
Only one. Independent of the vendor, the HR professional needs to describe the experience each stakeholder in the technology should have when the software is working. If the HR team cannot do this before the vendor makes his/her pitch, they should not be selecting anything.
Q. What important questions should HR professionals ask HR technology vendors in the selection process? 
Is this feature/benefit configurable or customizable?
Is every improvement automatically accessible?
Q. What advice do you have for HR professionals that will help to ensure a more successful technology implementation?  Where are most mistakes made? 
See advice for selection. Failure to have your own vision and being forced to accept the vendor’s.
Q. What are the biggest challenges to employee adoption of new HR technology and what advice would you give to HR professionals to ensure that employee adoption of new HR technology is successful?  
Change management requires as much attention as technology management and the people implementing one do not always have the same competencies as those needed for the other.
Q.  Now that everyone is using HR technology to find and manage employees, how can organizations use technology to attract them?
The messages and methods you use in how you attract, engage, select and onboard candidates must be aligned to the way you treat your employees once they are on board. Otherwise…there is a joke about dying and having to choose between heaven and hell.
Q.  What advice do you have for companies that are moving to a mobile responsive design for their recruiting process (career site, applications, communication)? 
What took you so long?
Qa. Recently, Goldman Sachs replaced campus recruiting with video.  How is video changing the way HR promotes employer brand and recruits new talent?  Qb. What advice do you have for HR pros who want to incorporate video into their talent management processes?   
The inevitable conclusion will be that nearly all communications during the hiring process will be asynchronous A/V. And, most communications once a candidate is hired will be the same. The problem will be how anyone who would insist on face-to-face can defend it unless the job itself requires bona fide face-to-face skills.
Q.  What area of Human Resources profession (recruiting, OD/Training, comp/benefits, employee relations, etc.) do you see technology affecting the most in the next five years?  
Recruiting and Learning…in that order.
Q.  As technology evolves, what do you think the future of HR will look like?  
That is more than a sentence or two. That said, HR will truly be business relevant. It will also be called something else as the vast majority of current HR practitioners will find themselves in a technician/admin role at best. 




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